Hamburg’s nights

Lately I’ve been walking around late at night and made some images that exemplify what Hamburg looks at night. Here’s a collection of the quieter and more bustling sites along the Elbe all taken with long exposures, so that it’s the movement of the machines, not the humans that gets the focus. I guess I’ll be working on this a lot more in the future, so a part II will come (whenever that is). Enjoy!

The gnat-fen

Well, in German it’s actually »Schnaakenmoor«, a waterland-conservation area in the north-west of Hamburg. Fens are mires in which the water accumulates because the area is slightly lower than the surrounding land, so that there is always an excess of water that rises to ground-level. Mires are inhabited by peatforming plants. As the plants die, they form peat which traps CO2 from the air, as the ground itself is separated from the oxygen in the air, the decomposition processes make it climate-neutral. Most mires nowadays have to be conserved so that they actually keep the water, if they don’t, they will transform into woodland with birches being the most common pioneer species (if around). In that process they will lose their CO2 and release it into the atmosphere, adding to climate change. For that reason it seems appropriate to appreciate these areas and raise awareness for their uniqueness.

The gnat-fen here is in the process of transforming back into wetland, so there are quite some trees around that have to be removed by conservationists.

Enjoy.

Spring in Hamburg

Well, it’s sort-of-finally come. As the sun-hours finally coincide with my circadian rhythm I went out to snap some pics of flowers and such. Here is a small collection from the Hirschpark and Planten un Blomen. Not much to say, really.

Enjoy!

Some more animal park!

Here is an assortment of animal park pictures that haven’t yet found a place elsewhere. You get some some structures and sculptures at the end and some more animals that haven’t been featured before.

Enjoy!

The tropics

Well, not the real ones, of course, but those at Hagenbeck’s zoo, anyway.Here’s a nice selection of shots inside the catacombs of the aquarium and the tropical area. The difficulty here is really to get sharp shots – any sharp shots, as it’s quite dark in the building. Another complication has to do with the thick sheets of special glass that protect the water tanks. They introduce layers of refraction, smudge and take away yet more light. So if you go inside the tropical aquarium be shure to boost your iso number quite high and be prepared to labour for each image, both in making it and in post-production. I wonder how much better the situation would be if I had a full-frame camera….

The animals of Hagenbeck

I’ve spent many weekends in the past year at »Tierpark Hagenbeck«, the privately funded zoo in Hamburg that looks back on six generations of family-ownership. The enormous costs of €41.000 a day(!) are exclusively covered by ticket-sales, donations or testaments (see their website for more information). The park is famous for its various panoramas, the skilfully laid out paths and of course its history and tradition. If you have the time, you should certainly pay it a visit.

As far as photography is concerned, the animal compounds have a high degree of naturalism to them, which is of course good for the animals, but it also allows for some stunning photographs that seem to show the animals in their natural habitats. In the following you see some of my best shots from the last 15 months, all with kind permission of Tierpark Hagenbeck. All shots here were taken in the park.

Mit freundlicher Genehmigung vom Tierpark Hagenbeck.

Harbour City II

Today, some friends took me out to the Elbphilharmonie to make some images. A beautiful, icy-cold and bright winter-day persuaded me quickly to join them. We were not alone. That is actually the reason why there are only a handful of pics in here today, there are quite some more nice images on my hard-drive, but they usually have some person who is tack-sharp in the frame and I shy away from publishing pictures of strangers that I haven’t asked for their image.

School partnership with a Tanzanian Secondary School

This blog post is different from others in that it explicitly promotes the school partnership between Blankenese, Germany and Lupila, Tansania. The images hopefully give some impressions of our partnership and maybe if you have either time or money (or both), you might consider volunteering, be it at church, at school or by donating to one of the more respectable agencies.
Our school partnership has a long tradition. Having started in 1990 I have participated only in the last six years but I already feel like I am part of a community. This year I was there on my fourth trip which was all about finding a new direction of how our two schools should work together. In the process, though, we could witness how donation money was well-spent on an assembly- and dining-hall and how large NGOs like UNIDO help less-developed regions gain a lot of independence by building a large hydroelectric power-plant. Some of these efforts and successes came about by church and school partnerships, but mainly by the villagers of Lupila, who are characterized by determined teachers, pastors, accountants and a populace which supports ideas and projects with a lot of volunteer work.

Harbour Museum B/W

Here are some more views from the museum and a viewpoint nearby in glorious black and white.